By: Sister Clare Hunter
Why is a nun writing about pornography? Because I just spent the past three of four days learning about how it is destroying our culture and promoting sex trafficking and sexual abuse of children. I repeat — causing the sexual abuse of children. Children. Being used. By adults. For sex. I am furious! It was poor timing. I had not realized, when saying “yes” to the Friday through Saturday conference “Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation,” that Monday was the morning study day at the Chancery on sex trafficking in Northern Virginia, as well as the effects of pornography on our culture. I’m angry, disgusted, overwhelmed, and would actually like to physically harm those using, selling, and promoting pornography of all kinds, especially the large number of those using child pornography. Hey, novelty sells. That’s what the statistics and experts say. Vomit.
Do you know what is going on? Honestly, I really didn’t want to know. I wanted to stay in my bubble. I knew it was bad, but when I realized that we were no longer in the tame, “normal” world of the Playboy mansion. An 11-year-old boy (the average age when a child sees porn ranges from 10-12; look it up) will immediately enter a “hardcore” porn site when surfing the internet on his computer, or most likely on his cell phone.
If 87 percent of men and 31 percent of women are using pornography, (50 Shades of Grey, not included) then it is in YOUR home, YOUR workplace, YOUR school, YOUR family. News reports constantly remind us that women and children are being used for sex and labor around the world. But it is happening here, in our own country, our neighborhoods, and families. We know this, and we don’t even need this week’s news “McLean student behind underage porn site,” to remind us. I know you know it is bad.
Here are some resources I think might be helpful. At least a start!
- Let us begin with prayer!
Jesus, Lover of chastity, Mary, Mother most pure, and Saint Joseph, chaste guardian of the Virgin, to you I come at this hour, begging you to plead with God for me. I earnestly wish to be pure in thought, word and deed in imitation of your own holy purity. Obtain for me, then, a deep sense of modesty which will be reflected in my external conduct. Protect my eyes, the windows of my soul, from anything that might dim the luster of a heart that must mirror only Christlike purity. And when the “Bread of Angels becomes the Bread of me” in my heart at Holy Communion, seal it forever against the suggestions of sinful pleasures.
Heart of Jesus, Fount of all purity, have mercy on us.
- Effects of pornography on the brain (10 times more addictive than heroin!), Donald Hilton, M.D.
- Prevent teen sex trafficking in Northern Virginia – Just Ask
- Protect your family and yourself! Covenant Eyes accountability and filtering
- Read Bishop Paul Loverde’s letter “Bought with a Price”
- Learn more and get help at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington
 Wolak, Mitchell and Finkelhor. Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later. Alexandria, VA. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 2006.
 Carroll, Jason S., et al. “Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance and Use Among Emerging Adults. Journal of Adolescent Research 23.1 (2008) 6-30. (Study examined population of emerging adults, aged 18-26)